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Valencia lures foreign productions with rebates

Spanish region to offer close to $26 million in credits

Valencia, the southeast region of Spain that includes Alicante’s mega Ciudad de la Luz studios, will offer a total E18 million ($25.7 million) in rebates on local spend for international shoots through 2011.

Some $5.7 million will be available for the second half of 2009, compared to about $10. 2 million for 2008 .

For 2010, $10.2 million in rebates will be available and again in 2011. Rebates are capped at $5.1 million per pic.

Rebates will be applied to 16% of local spend, rising to 20% for companies that spend more than $17.1 million in the Valencia region in 12 months, said Eusebio Monzo Martinez, director general of the Ricardo Munoz Suay IVAC Valencia Film Institute, at an IVAC presentation Friday night in San Sebastian.

The $17.1 million benchmark may be covered by a single company’s several shoots. Rebates are capped at $71,435 per E.U. cast and crew member; 50% of rebates will be paid during the shoot, 35% on receipt of first copy, 15% on a film’s theatrical release, Monzo Martinez added.

Valencia has also rejigged its rebates system. Going forward, at European Union insistance, rebates on Ciudad de la Luz will be administered by IVAC, a fully-fledged public org, rather than the Ciudad itself.

International shoots must now meet cultural criteria.

Films will score in such categories as content (Valencia or European stories, setting, characters, source material/language) and practitioners (Valencian or other European actors, directors, writers and producers).

The IVAC total budget for 2009 is $14.6 million.

IVAC is also negotiating credit lines for local productions with the Valencia Finance Institute.

London’s Pinewood and Berlin’s Studio Babelsberg filed a complaint with the European Commission over construction at the Ciudad de la Luz being funded by Valencia state monies. The studio complex is privately held. No ruling has been made on the case.

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